Statement by Vice Provost James L. Moore on the Derek Chauvin verdict
April 20, 2021
Dear ODI Community and Partners:
Warmest greetings! A measure of justice has been delivered, and the jury has spoken, issuing a guilty verdict for former Police Officer Derek Chauvin in the George Floyd murder trial in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Chauvin is likely to spend at least 27 years in prison for the callous murder of the 46-year-old Floyd outside of Cup Foods on Monday, May 25, 2020.
Today's verdict will not bring Floyd back to life, and it does not solve the overarching systemic problems related to race and policing that exist in our society. I have no doubt that the jury's verdict will be interpreted by some as a sign that America is finally ready to have a reckoning around issues of police brutality and violence, especially as they relate to people of color. My belief is that the larger jury on that issue—the jury of more than 300+ million Americans—still remains out. Time will tell if what we have seen happen today is truly a turning point for our country.
As vice provost for diversity and inclusion and chief diversity officer, I acknowledge that hearing about this verdict can have an impact on the entire Buckeye community and realize that revisiting the tragic murder of Floyd can be traumatizing and/or result in psychological and emotional reactions. As always, if you are in distress, please know that we are here to help. Students may contact the university's Counseling and Consultation Service, at any time, via telephone (614-292-5766) and/or web (ccs.osu.edu). If calling after hours, press 2 to be connected to a mental health professional. For a comprehensive list of resources, please visit go.osu.edu/mymentalhealth. For faculty and staff who need psychological and emotional support, you can schedule an appointment for in person, video, and/or telephone counseling by contacting one of Ohio State Employee Assistance Program (EAP) counselors via telephone (800-678-62650) and/or e-mail (email@example.com).
Despite difficult times, I remain hopeful that a country that can figure out how to end slavery, dismantle Jim Crow, and pass meaningful Civil Rights laws can find a way to bring meaningful reform to how we police our society. But make no mistake about it: the systemic and meaningful changes we all want to see made in this country will only happen if we are dogged and determined in working to achieve our vision. As we take a measure of satisfaction in this righteous verdict, we must remain mindful that the struggle of our lifetime for greater diversity, equity and inclusion will continue.
Thank you for all you do to make inclusive excellence an ethos at our university.
James L. Moore III, PhD
Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer
Executive Director, Bell National Resource Center
EHE Distinguished Professor of Urban Education